How to treat sore muscles after a workout

Woken up with achey, sore muscles after an intense session at the gym? Here are some tips to relieve those aches and pains.


by Fiona Day |
Published on

Otherwise known as ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’, the pain in your muscles after a work out results from a build up of lactic acid

According to WebMD, the pain will eventually subside.

"It peaks within about 48 hours, and then it will gradually get better," says Ethel Frese from St Louis University.

But this doesn’t help your during those excruciating 48 hours!

To help things along, here are some ways you can ease those tense, tired muscles.


How to treat sore muscles after a workout

Stretches1 of 6


If you wake up feeling a bit stiff the day after an intense workout, start off by doing some gentle stretches.Stretch your hamstrings and your calves by bending over and touching your toes.Stretch your glutes by bringing your foot up to your bum and holding for ten seconds.If your arm muscles are feeling a bit tight, stretch them by extending your arm and pulling your hand gently backwards toward your wrist. You’ll feel a slight pull in your bicep.

Diet2 of 6


Eat a protein rich meal after a workout. Milk is a great way to get protein into your system following a heavy gym session or a long run.

Sleep3 of 6


Sleep is where your body repairs itself and rests your muscles. Make sure you have good quality sleep by turning off electronic equipment about an hour before bed and making sure your sleeping surroundings are comfortable- this means as little clutter and mess as possible and no background noise.

Massage4 of 6


If your muscles are very sore, book in a quick sports massage. Most gyms offer these for some cost, but prices tend to be reasonable and fair. It’s not as relaxing as a massage at a spa, but you will feel some positive effects.

Ice bath5 of 6

Ice bath

The cold temperature causes your blood vessels to tighten, draining blood from your legs and causing them to feel numb. The blood will also drain any lactic acid in the muscles, causing the pain.When you get out the bath, your legs with fill up with ‘new blood’ free from lactic acid. Then you should have nice, soothed leg muscles (if you can stand the freezing temperatures for five minutes!).

Gentle exercise6 of 6

Gentle exercise

Go for a gentle walk or jog the day after a heavy workout. This will help get the blood pumping and your muscles feeling like brand new again.

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